Minimum Viable Product – What is an MVP?

Minimum Viable Product

Minimum Viable Product – What is an MVP?

Do names like Facebook, Spotify, Airbnb, and others. Ring a bell? Surely they do. They all were MVPs (Minimum Viable Products) at some point. An MVP is the most basic form of a service or product that users can make available. Because you need to test your hypothesis in the form of a natural product (a web page, a video with no working product at all, or a mobile or desktop app) to get some user data or insights, add or remove features.

And continue to do so until you gradually start moving on a path to a successful product like Uber, Twitter, or maybe Groupon. That’s because it is no longer about the result itself but everything involved and connected to the idea and the execution. Thus to compete in the market, you need to focus on factors crucial to your app’s success – cost, real users, UI/UX, app performance, and others. With that, you also need help from an app development company to help you build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

Now, if you got questions like What are the best practices or development platforms involved in the MVP development process? Or What is the purpose of an MVP? Or What is the difference between an MVP, MMF, or MMP? All you need is to scroll through and keep exploring each bite of information presented here.

Significance of a minimum viable product and its types 

There may exist many advantages of building an MVP before launching a final product but based on our observations, here are the most important ones:

  • To have an optimum value so that people are initially willing to use, buy, or invest in your MVP.
  • Use MVPs for demonstrating enough future benefits to retain your early adopters.
  • Using an MVP (made with good intentions and efforts) as a feedback loop to assist future developments.

Now that we know MVP’s significance, let’s get into learning its types as popularized in the books such as “The Start Owner’s Manual, the Business Model Canvas, or Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup:

  • The Wizard of Oz or The Flintstone MVP: Coined and popularized byEric Ries, the core functionalities in such an MVP involve manual operations. But users are tricked into feeling like the product uses some automation based on Artificial Intelligence (AI). 
  • The One-Feature MVP: It offers scalability and delivery of core functionalities effectively. Companies and budding startups use this MVP to target customers for testing the most significant features of a service or product. E.g., the location-based social platform – Foursquare. Such an MVP may lead to further innovations based on feedback from the users. 
  • The Concierge MVP involves direct communication with your clients and allows your developers’ team to increase the product’s features. And there is no automation involved at any phase.

Purpose of a Minimum Viable Product

The main intention to launch an MVP at first is to experiment with your idea. It helps in knowing whether a proposed product is natural and can create value. Meaning, an MVP is a way to observe your users’ apparent behavior, or you can say it is a way to avoid developing something that people do not want. Exploring and knowing what people are doing with your product is more reliable than directly asking what your product would do.

There are a few things that you should keep in mind while going into developing an MVP:

  • Risk Management: MVPs’ primary purpose for any company is to evaluate people’s interest in the proposed idea(s) and gather as much information as possible. You will never want to release a product that will not sell. Thus a demo before people to minimize risks and future headaches. 
  • Quality Management: No one hates a quality product or a service. A realistic and validated idea for an MVP is a great help for developers to mold the inspirations into an actual high-quality product accordingly. 
  • Pre-Launch Selling: It hopes to generate early on revenue using a minimal budgeted MVP; We need a strong marketing strategy. It is also a great way to attract investors to invest in your business idea. 
  • Fostering Customer Relationships: It puts a semblance of power in customers’ hands for any MVP that will release. The success of this relationship determines whether the transformation of the pre-launch user base into a verified customer base is feasible. 
  • Reduce Waste: MVPs are the best choice for companies to help them in capitalizing on resources, hard work, revenue generation, and minimizing the time taken to emerge as a successful trendsetter in the market. 

What is a practical MVP development approach? 

There is no straight answer. We can only spin our heads around and find out the MVP development process. Minimum Viable Product development or MVP development is a software development process that can bring huge benefits if done correctly and effectively.

It can overnight change the fate of a company, from an unknown startup to a successful company such as Amazon or Etsy. This section will also learn the development practices involved to create an impactful and viable MVP. And which software platform is the best when it comes to quickly launching your minimum viable product(s).

To ensure that the development process goes smoothly? Let’s see what sequential steps or tips are there to boost your product’s chances for success in today’s highly competitive global market:

  • Identifying what works and what doesn’t: It is all about user interactions from the very beginning. So, make sure user experience (UX) is your priority. Thus, along with your team, you need to explore the needs of your existing and potential userbase if you want your product to reach its best quality. E.g., users’ pain points, how to help users with your project, and others. Then use these insights in developing the final product. 
  • Conducting detailed market research: This is the first stage for developing any mobile app but a second step in the MVP development. It is necessary to thoroughly perform market research to set aside assumptions or bogus information. Did you know, product failure occurs when there is a lack of compliance with your potential customers? Interesting, right? It’s that easy! So, what you should do is to get your users what they want. 
  • Define the essential features for your target audience: What elements bring value for your target audience and which ones are extra will always decide whether your product can compete in the market. MVP development is all about creating core features to keep your business ahead of the curve. Remember, MVP development is about minimum but essential features that provide an effective solution. The simpler, the better. Right?
  • Offer the potential users the early version of your MVP: The thing that comes right after defining essential features of your MVP is to gather customer validation. Don’t forget; it’s a product that meets the users’ demands and not the other way around. That is, consider only those functionalities that directly address your product’s primary objective. 
  • Measure MVP’s progress: Finally, this is the last thing where you collect and analyze feedback from your users and run tests. Once it’s over, re-evaluate your product and make it adaptable to users’ needs, and fix the problems faced during the process. It helps you overcome many market problems – How does Minimum Viable Product development look? How to get from an idea to a product? The answer is to do it one step at a time. The whole idea of a successful Minimum Viable Product development is validated learning. That’s learning about the product to make it user-friendly and ready for the market. 

Hence, when the purpose and intent are clear, mold them into an actual product using this development process. But it is not as easy as it seems. Because the development process is not merely about making an MVP model and launching – you need to release MVPs more often with new features and improved functionalities.

The whole idea is that your MVP must serve as a basis for innovation and improvement till your app is ready for an official release. Hence, to make it more feasible and easy to launch a product more often, there does not seem to be a viable choice other than using cross-platform app development tools like React Native, the world-famous Flutter, and others.

With The flexibility and reliability of such platforms, app development becomes easy and simplified. As a result, the launch of an MVP becomes quite feasible and fast.

Thus, there are a few quality reasons why you should choose cross-platforms like Flutter and React Native for developing a robust MVP for your budding idea:

  • Cost-efficient and expedited app development.
  • Flexible and dynamic UI.
  • Native app-like performance.
  • Cross-platforms like Flutter & React Native make it easy for you to attract users, potential buyers, and investors.
  • Such platforms are customer-oriented and allow repeated checks on the design of your app before its final launch.
  • And, most importantly, you need fewer resources to make top-notch products that work. 

An MVP can take any form in the app market, such as a beta testing app, a physical product, or a landing page. Thus, to further understand the significance of the MVP development phase, consider a few examples of popular software that have hugely benefited from the approach mentioned above:

  • Facebook
  • Amazon
  • Twitter
  • Uber
  • Etsy
  • Spotify
  • Dropbox
  • Groupon
  • Airbnb

Expected Benefits and Common Pitfalls

There is no doubt that developing an MVP is the best way to remain competitive and ahead of the competition, but it has its perks and pitfalls. Let’s find out.

Expected Benefits

  • Understand what the market needs: In other words, your product fulfills the user’s requirements and market needs. 
  • Test the idea with minimal expenses: One of the main objectives of MVP development is to learn about the product as much as possible in the shortest amount of time. 
  • Minimize the risk of failure: Because your team works with the target audience and gets reliable feedback, they adjust your product to the user’s needs. It, in turn, reduces the odds of failure during product launch and increases the chances of success. 

Common Pitfalls

  • Confusing MVP with MMF (Minimum Marketable Feature) or MMP (Minimum Marketable Product): MVP focuses on learning users’ behavior, whereas MMF or MMP stresses over earning. Although this confusion does not do much harm unless your development team becomes too focused on providing something without even considering what is the right thing that resolves users’ needs.
  • Stressing more on the minimum part while excluding the viable part of an MVP.-The most common mistake many software development companies make. Not following the user and consumers’ insights and feedback leads to the development and a product of insufficient quality. 

Difference Between MVP, POC (Proof of Concept), and a Prototype

There are misconceptions and confusion about these three methods to make a space for your idea in the market. Let’s see how they differ based on the situations and requirements and which one to choose when the need arises.

Choose MVP When

  • It is required to put a working app before customers.
  • You want to make money using your app.
  • Want to present the world with a bug and error-free app to use. 
  • You desire high ROI at lower costs.
  • You want to figure out the market perception to improve your product.

Choose POC If

  • You need seed funding.
  • You want to check whether your idea works technically.
  • It is required to share crucial knowledge with your developers’ team. 
  • It is necessary to evaluate a project or some features’ success.

Choose Prototype When

  • There is a need to visualize how the app would function.
  • You are low with budgets and have limited time, but you are keen to show your app to stakeholders.
  • There is minimal technical availability.
  • You want an instant look and feel of your app. 

The Wrap-up

To wrap up, an MVP is the most basic version of your final product. With efficient marketing strategies, startups and big brands often release MVPs to collect consumer insights. MVP plays a vital role in a business because it cuts down financial risks and helps in driving revenue. More precisely, an MVP stage (if properly implemented) boosts the creativity and productivity of your team of developers.

If you want to build innovative products and foster a loyal user base. Then investing in developing an MVP is the most cost-efficient way to do it. At Quokka Labs, we care about your time and resources. It is the reason why we recommend building an MVP first during the workshop. Contact us to find out how we can breathe life into your vision with dynamic designs, quality developments. We’d be happy to meet you and discuss your ideas.

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